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Ireland got their World Cup back on track yesterday morning with a 35-0 bonus-point win over Russia at the Kobe Misaki Stadium in Kobe City.
The win puts them back in control of their destiny following last week’s hugely disappointing defeat to Japan. A win against Samoa in their final pool game will guarantee them a quarter-final against South Africa or New Zealand.
But former Ireland international Simon Zebo says he is not as confident of Ireland’s chances in the quarter-finals as he was going into the tournament. He thought the yesterdays win was “a little sloppy” and is hoping for some “expansive rugby” before it’s too late.
“It was a little sloppy and Russia aren’t exactly the best side in the world, so you’d have been hoping for a bit more – some expansive rugby if possible,” Zebo wrote in his Paddy Power News column.
“If you’re of Ireland’s potential quarter-final opponents, this wasn’t one to make you nervous.”
The former Munster fullback, who now plies his trade in France with Racing 92, says you really need to “show more” than what Ireland did against Russia to consider yourself serious contenders for the World Cup.
“In the first 20 or 25 minutes of the game we were still putting up box kicks in dangerous positions where we might have had a go with ball in hand and tried to test our attack,” Zebo said.
“It’s Russia at the end of the day. They’re barely a professional setup. We should be confident enough to play more rugby and show how good our attack is. But there were a lot of one-out runners and slightly too much kicking.
“It’s a win with a bonus point but if you want to win the World Cup you need to show more than that.”